The power of people - perspectives of crisis

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Posted by APM on 29th Jul 2010

On the 7th July 2009 the APM People SIG held their annual conference entitled The Power of People Perspectives of Crisis at the Kings Fund in London.

The theme of the conference was that our profession is evolving understanding of the fact that successful projects are delivered through people. The leaders of these teams must engage stakeholders and draw inspiration from seasoned project professionals. We require excellent relationship skills which are often only brought out or tested during a crisis.
During the day the conference explored the different approaches to crisis and identified how the speakers develop and sustain relationships before, during and after a crisis.

The following speakers made presentations;

Donnie MacNicol Chair of the Conference and People SIG

Donnie introduced the SIG and then the conference speakers and later in the day gave an overview of the work of the SIG including mentoring, lenses booklet and communication survey. The presentation is included after details of each of the speakers.

Andy Barr MBE - Network Co-ordination Manager from London Underground.

The human aspects of managing emergencies - Andy described how the people considerations are one of the most important facets of managing major emergencies including the experiences of the 7/7 bombings, and how these amplify the people needs.

Group Manager Dean Johns - Head of London Fire Brigades Incident Command Training Team and Matt Cocker - Director of Tiebel Consulting acting as Head of Programme Management for the London Fire Brigade

Crisis management - what can project managers learn from the London Fire Brigade? Even in the best managed projects we find ourselves firefighting to cope with the unexpected. Dean and Matt gave an overview of the processes, training and support structures that professional firefighters use to deal effectively with any incident they face and explored how these are transferable to the world of projects.

Tony Moore Associate Director, The Resilience Centre, Cranfield University, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom.

Why and how people behave differently in a crisis - Whilst some people may be perfectly good at managing organisations for 364 days of the year, when the wheel comes off on the 365th day and a crisis occurs, it needs someone with a different mentality to manage the situation.

Tony focused on why people either fail to make decisions or make ineffective decisions when faced with a crisis. Examples were given from the Emergency Services, the Health Service and the Credit Crisis.

Tony Vosper, Senior Manager, Change Management, RBC Dexia Investor Services (London).

Strategies for dealing with crises in projects - Tony provided insight into how he has implemented strategies to identify and deal with the crises in projects. Projects become a year late a day at a time. Is this a crisis or could we have seen it coming?

His project experience includes; Operations and IT integration for capital markets, Lean Six Sigma deployment into a global operational environment, global programme to improve client satisfaction, global roll out of an operational risk management process.

All the above presentations can be downloaded below

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